“NO” on DHS Funding Bill: A Blank Check for Amnesty (H.R. 240)

On Friday, February 27, the Senate adopted a substitute amendment (#255) offered by Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) 42% to the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act (H.R. 240).  Heritage Action was key voting in favor of the House-passed DHS funding bill prior to the adoption of the McConnell Amendment, which essentially removed language that would have denied funding and resources for the President’s unconstitutional amnesty.  With the adoption of the substitute amendment, Heritage Action will key vote against H.R. 240 and include it as a key vote on our legislative scorecard.

Text of the original key vote, which was posted on February 2, 2015, is below.

This week, the Senate will begin consideration of the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act (H.R. 240).  The House-passed bill would fund DHS through September 30, 2015 and effectively stop President Obama’s dangerous and unlawful amnesty.

When President Obama took action to, as he said “change the law”, the outcry from Congress was widespread.  At least seven Senate Democrats have expressed concern with the President’s actions, including Sen. Angus King (I-ME) 8% who has “constitutional concerns about where prosecutorial discretion ends and unconstitutional executive authority begins.”

By asserting such a sweeping expansion of presidential powers, President Obama has precipitated a crisis.  As Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) 42%observed last year, “The only tool we have is the power of the purse.”  The only way Congress can retain its constitutional authority — and fight for hardworking Americans all across the country — is to swiftly deny funding and resources for the program.

The need for quick, decisive congressional action cannot be overstated. The administration will begin accepting amnesty applications on February 18.  Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) 18% and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel plan to have “thousands upon thousands upon thousands” of illegal immigrants in the Chicago-area signed up by the “end of February” when current funding for DHS expires.

Additionally, the terror attacks in France serve as a reminder that no commander-in-chief should tie the hands of those attempting to keep our nation safe.  As The Heritage Foundation’s David Inserra explains, that is precisely what Obama’s unlawful amnesty has done:

“This leaves our immigration officers in a tough and highly frustrating spot. They have sworn to uphold the nation’s laws, but their president, secretary and director are telling them to ignore their duty. Instead, they are pressured to rubber stamp applications and follow procedural gimmicks that ensure most of those they arrest for violating immigration laws are never deported.”

Security officials should never be “pressured to rubber stamp applications,” especially when those applications come from individuals who reside unlawfully in the country.  The best way to secure our nation is to pass a DHS spending bill that takes concrete steps to stop the Obama administration’s dangerous and  unlawful amnesty.  No lawmaker should prioritize granting quasi-legal status, work permits and Social Security numbers to those who are in the country illegally above protecting America and its citizens.

Heritage Action supports H.R. 240 and will include it as a key vote on our legislative scorecard pending the outcome of the amendment process.

Related:
Heritage Action’s Legislative Scorecard
“YES” on Amnesty Stopping DHS Appropriations Bill (House)
Memo: Keeping Focused on Obama’s Executive Action on Immigration